Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Daily Journal for Wednesday 4th November 2009


S - "And now compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:22-24

O - There is a spiritual beauty in winter in the Alpine area where we live. We go there many times during the season. There is a quietness, a silence, a majesty, an awe, and and unpredictability that makes the season and the area, at once glorious, and also terrifying. Paul was miraculously saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. But because of his persecution of the believers, earlier, in Acts, Jesus says that "I will show him how much he will suffer for my name" Chapter 9:16 . Grace was costly for Jesus. It seems that if we are prepared to truly follow Jesus, compelled even, there are no guarantees of what life will bring. Paul's life was not easy. There was a "chill factor", to the incredible warmth of grace that Christ showed to him. Paul was forgiven and saved for all eternity to be with Jesus, but his life on earth was not easy. Yes, it was full of glory, but also at times, terrifying hardship. The Gospel of Grace is dangerous, powerful and unpredictable. Incredible that God allows incomplete and broken vessels like ourselves, to handle and be responsible for it.

O - How easy it is to fall into the rhythm of taking grace for granted; believing we understand it's power to save in ways that are appealing and not too confronting for others. Yet grace is completely confronting. It is completely dangerous. I think the scriptures here are saying that there are consequences to being a recipient of the Gospel of Grace. It can be dangerous in your own life, because Christ expects you to respond to it, by sharing it with others in ways which might be inconvenient and uncomfortable. It can also be dangerous and chilling, when we see others receive this grace, when we don't think they deserve it either. Either way, there is an extreme "chill" factor to grace, which we need to "factor" into our thinking. And there is a greater need for us to be prepared to be like Paul, and persevere with the gospel of grace, no matter what the cost.

P - Dear Jesus, Help us all to understand more completely your deeper meaning of grace to us. Help us to be prepared to follow you, no matter what the cost, no matter how hard or uncomfortable it may be. Amen.

Daily Reading Chapters 20&21

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